Tuesday, 4th April

It was quite bright when we woke up, but the spell of sunshine and showers continues, so we did not rush out but eventually headed to the City to continue our perambulation of the Rocks area and to walk over the Harbour Bridge.  

We reached the City and took the now familiar walk to Harrington Street where we had seen steps up to the Bridge.  Sydney Harbour Bridge is the largest and heaviest (but not the longest) steel arch in the world. It links the city centre with North Sydney, crossing the harbour at one of its narrowest points.  The two halves of the arch were built outwards from each shore. It took 1400 workers nine years to build. It was completed in 1932.  

We have obviously crossed the Bridge many times by car, but you get a much better sense of it and a very different perspective on the harbour, from it. We walked across and back again.  Although it is no where near as challenging as the climb that people do across the span of girders that are an integral part of the structure that is the very essence of Sydney, the walk has its own challenges when you feel the ground under your feet shudder as a train or large truck travels past just a few yards from you. Keith did well.

having left the bridge behind us, we wandered down to the Quay where, for the first time since we’ve been here, there was no huge cruise ship to mar our view across to the Opera House.  We wandered past The old waterside warehouses……..
and along the riverside buildings.
We visited the gallery of the Australian Artist Ken Done.  His rather childlike, but very colourful  pictures are displayed in the old Australian Steam Navigation Building.  His older work was more to my taste as it had more clarity of form – the more recent paintings seemed ‘naive’ in the extreme!!  I am probably doing him a severe disservice by my comments!

Leaving Mr Done’s etchings behind, we were back into the history of the area as we came across John Cadman’s house.  Front – 

And rear.  Right on the harbour side – an estate agents dream commission! 

John Cadman was sentenced to death in London in 1797 for stealing a horse. His sentence was commuted to transportation to the colony.  Initially, he worked in Castle Hill as a convict labourer and then transferred to the Government Dockyard in 1809. He was later appointed Coxwain of the Timber and Lumber Boat and received a conditional pardon the following year, in 1813. He eventually received a free pardon after working as Coxwain to the Antelope for four years, from 1817 to 1821. He was then promoted to Master of the 30 ton Cutter ‘Mars’ until this was wrecked in 1826.  He was then appointed Superintendent of Government Boats.  It was at this point that he was given this house.  In 1830 he obtained permission to marry another convict, Elizabeth Mortimer and continued to live in the cottage with his wife and two daughters.  When he retired he had worked for 45 years in Goverment service and he was awarded £182!    He died in the Steam Packet Inn in 1848, a pub he had bought in 1844.  Not bad for a horse thief!!

Nice spot!  A little bit further along, there was a statue of Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty 

fame.  I had no idea that he was once Governor of New South Wales.  It would seem he was no more popular in this role than he was on the Bounty.  Fifteen years after the Bounty incident, he was appointed Governor with orders to clear up the corrupt trade of the New South Wales Corps and some influential settlers.    His actions to follow this instruction resulted in the so called Rum Rebellion, during which 400 soldiers of the Corps marched on Governent House and arrested Bligh, effectively deposing him. Bligh spent two years in prison, before he was told the the British Foreign office had declared the rebellion another Mutiny!  Sounds like a bit of a trend……..

After a drink at the Opera House, we decided to set out for home, passing a very impressive sculpture marking the course of the Tank Stream that runs under the pavement on the harbour side. 

One thought on “Tuesday, 4th April”

  1. Lovely reading about your travels – very jealous! We really enjoyed the Chinese friendship garden in Sydney. It was a haven of peace and tranquility in the middle of the city. You can get very close to the water dragons too. XX


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